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Serving our Community - One and All

To be involved in programmes and development of the complex for the improvement and benefit of all.
To engage and attract the youth through providing the complex as the epicentre for more inclusive youth programmes of an Islamic and educational nature.

Keeping the company of the Auliya-Allah

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“0h you who believe, Become God-conscious and be with those that are the Sadiqin (those truthful ones).” [9:119]

Spending time in the company of the pious people of Allah- those that are on the Straight path- plays a vital role in the spiritual development of any individual. Islam has placed great emphasis such companionship. If we look at the Arabs prior to the advent of Islam, and what they became afterwards, the main factor that transformed them was that they spent time in the companionship of Allah's blessed Messenger Muhammad (the Salutations and Peace of Allah be upon him).

Allah speaks about His blessed Prophet Muhammad (the Salutations and Peace of Allah be upon him) as follows: "It is He who sent among the unlettered people a Messenger from among themselves, who recites to them his signs and purifies them and bestows them the knowledge of the book of Wisdom, although they had been necessarily in Manifest error before that!" [62:2]


Allah's blessed Messenger (the Salutations and Peace of Allah be upon him) was the one that took these people out of the ignorance (Jahiliyyah) that they were drenched in, and made them into stars of guidance. The Prophet (the Salutations and Peace of Allah be upon him) says in a hadith: “My companions are like stars: whichever one of them you follow, you will be rightly guided."

It was none other than the blessed company and madrasah of the Prophet (the Salutations and Peace of Allah be upon him) himself that made them into stars. So spiritual companionship is not a concept

initiated by the Awliya-Allah [Friends of Allah] but is inherited directly from the Prophets of Allah.

Companionship plays a very important role in the life of a Muslim.
Allah's Messenger (the Salutations and Peace of Allah be upon him) says: "Man is on the Religion of his friends, so let each of you look at who he chooses to befriend!”

In Arabian literature it is stated that you can tell the character of a person by looking at the company he keeps. A poet aptly says: "If you are accompanying a group of people, then choose the best from amongst them to keep company with. Do not accompany the dirt of their society or you may be mistaken for dirt. For when people look, they do not look at individuals, but they look at those he accompanies. For every person follows the group he accompanies."
Every person has physical and spiritual ailments that surface from time to time. The physical ailments are relatively simple to see. The spiritual ailments like hypocrisy, pride, envy, jealousy and selfishness are the ones that are difficult to notice. No man can see his own faults, not because he does not want to, but because he does not examine himself deeply enough. Allah speaks about this category of people in the Holy Quran:, "Say Muhammad : Shall we inform them of the one whose actions are the worst, those whose struggles were lost in the life of the world, while they thought they were doing wonderful deeds!' [18:103-104]

That is why we as Muslims are encouraged to seek good, pious company who will examine and correct us when we err. Allah's Messenger (the Salutations and Peace of Allah be upon him) says, "The Believer is a mirror of another believer.” [Abu Dawud]

The word “mirror” chosen by the blessed Prophet can be taken in its literal sense, or we can look for deeper meanings. We know that mirrors come in all sizes and shapes, some are clear and reflect a true image, whilst other provide a distorted one; some make things look bigger while others make things seem smaller.  Companionship is similar to a mirror: some never let you see your true self and encourage you in your evil and wicked ways. Others may belittle you, while others again may give you undeserved praise. A true friend is he who shows you who you really are and guides you to the straight path- such are the Awliya.

Allah's Messenger (the Salutations and Peace of Allah be upon him) has said: "Indeed the difference between two gatherings! The [difference between] a gathering that encourages piety and good, and one that promotes wickedness is like [the difference between] one who works with musk and one who works with burning coal. The bearer of the perfume might just give you the perfume or sell it to you, or at the least you will get to enjoy that sweet scent from him. The one working with coal will either burn your clothing, or leave you with an ugly stench!"  Similarly, if you stay in the company of the Awliya then you may be given guidance, or shown where to attain guidance. At the very least you will be able to leave them knowing that you have enjoyed their company and thus earned reward from Allah.

Sayyidina Umar Ibn Khattab (RA), the second Caliph of Islam, relates that he heard Allah's Messenger, the Salutations and Peace of Allah be upon him, saying, "Indeed from the servants of Allah, there is a group that are neither Prophets nor Martyrs, but even the Prophets and the Martyrs are envious of them, their position on the day of Qiyamah and their nearness to Allah. The Companions asked: Who are they, Messenger of Allah?  He replied: “They are a group of servants that loved Allah, without any benefit [that they wished for thereby] nor for any wealth they could attain because of it. I swear by Allah that indeed their faces are filled with Nur, and indeed everything about them is Nur. They do not fear when people fear, nor do they grieve when people grieve. The Messenger of Allah (the Salutations and Peace of Allah be upon him) then recited the verse, "Beware, indeed the Awliya-Allah do not fear, nor do they grieve!” [Abu Dawud].

So it is this blessed category of Awliya-Allah that Allah's Messenger himself has praised, and it is this category of Awliya that are the Inheritors of Muhammad (the Salutations and Peace of Allah be upon him), and his blessed companions. The blessed Messenger of Allah (the Salutations and Peace of Allah be upon him) has also made reference to this group in another hadith where it is said: "There will always be a group of my Ummah on the path of Haqq and truth. They cannot be harmed by anybody and they will remain on this path until the Day of Qiyamah.” [Sahih Muslim].

We as individual are always in need of those that can guide us. The sahaba spent their time with Muhammad (the Salutations and Peace of Allah be upon him) and he guided them in every aspect of their life. Thus it is following the Sunnah of the Companions to sit with those can guide us and show us the truth. The Awliya are those that have been chosen by Allah to guide us, and show us the way to Him.

Spiritual guidance is not something that evaporates in time. The spiritual guidance the Sahaba received, even for a short duration, was sufficient to carry them through their entire lives. Similarly, we continue to reap the spiritual benefits from the friends of Allah even after they have passed on. It is stated in Shawahidul Haqq that when a wali of Allah passes on, then his attention is even more focused on his murids and those that need spiritual guidance. When he was in the physical realm he had to complete his obligations to Allah, as well as further his spiritual enlightenment. But after he has passed on there remains no obligation to Allah nor is there the need to further his own spiritual development and thus his complete focus is turned to those that he can assist and guide and who need his attention.

The Friends of Allah achieved their great status, not just because Allah chose them, but also because of the manner they strived in Allah's path. They followed strict codes and practices and imbued themselves with the Sunnah of Muhammad (the Salutations and Peace of Allah be upon him). It is stated by Mawlana Jalaluddin Rumi R.A in his Mathnavi that a piece of iron does not become a sword until it is sent to a blacksmith, beaten and put through fire. Similarly a Friend of Allah does not become a Wali until he strives and has been guided by another friend of Allah.

In conclusion, Allah’s beloved Messenger Muhammad (the Salutations and Peace of Allah be upon him) says, "Fear the foresight of a Believer, for indeed when he looks, he sees with the Nur of Allah." These Awliya-Allah do not look at our physical appearances but they look at our hearts. They change our hearts and fill it with the love of Allah and His beloved Messenger (the Salutations and Peace of Allah be upon him). May Allah guide us to benefit from this group of deeply  spiritual personalities and allow us to follow their great examples. Amin.

Moulana Goolam Muhammad Soofie, Soofie Darbaar, Riverside, Durban

 

Foreword to the Noble Gyarwee Book

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In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

One of the many positives of Islam is that Allah Almighty did not leave the "Ummah" without any religious guidance after the demise of Nabi Muhammad (SAW). Other than the generations, which came after him, there were also individuals who could be classified as revivers of our religion. Some of their names are very well known, such as Imam Ghazzali and Shaykh 'Abd Al-Qadir Al-Jilani (RA), who, amongst others, played major roles in the revival of Islam and in the establishment of Islam in areas where the religion was not known. Without these revivers Islam would have found it very difficult to continue to be the vibrant religion that we have come to know.

Of course, there are geographical areas in which things have gone badly wrong for our religion, but matters would have been much worse if Allah Almighty did not send revivers at regular historical periods to preach and spread Islam. Perhaps one of the most famous revivers in Islam was Shaykh 'Abd Al-Qadir Al-Jilani (RA), who established the Qadiri Tariqa Order. His teachings, especially his arrangements of "Athkar" have come down in our history right up to today. All over the world the Qadiri Tariqa flourishes and is one of the most important vehicles in Islam for the remembrance of Allah Almighty. There are very few countries where the remembrance of Allah Almighty has not been introduced to people through this order, and the order has produced a large number of spiritual luminaries who have continued the work started by Shaykh 'Abd Al-Qadir Al-Jilani (RA). The arrangement of "Athkar" and its use by large number of Muslims throughout the world have kept the remembrance of Allah alive in the hearts of the people. If for no other reason, this order has played a significant role in the continued revival of our religion through "Athkar".


The present work, which is a translation of a very well-known Qadiri Thikr, 'the Noble Gyarwee', is a further step in giving the disciples of this order a better understanding of what they recite. Although the words carry with it its own spiritual power and bring about spiritual changes in the hearts of the disciples, this translation stands to enhance these changes and should bring about considerable spiritual progress to those who are on the path.

Shaykh Professor Yusuf Da Costa,
Naqshbandi Muhammadi Order of South Africa

Islam: A Living Reality

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Sayyiduna Rasulullah (Peace and blessings be upon him) advised us: "Be conscious of Allah wherever you may be. Follow up a misdeed with a good deed and you will obliterate the misdeed. Furthermore, interact with people by practicing beautiful conduct" (Al-Bukhari and others).

 

Imam Shafi`i said: "3 things in this world have been made lovely to me: avoiding affectation, treating people kindly, and following the way of tasawwuf.

He also said: I accompanied the Sufis and received from them naught but three expressions: their statement that time is a sword: if you do not  cut it, it cuts you; their statement that if you do not keep  your ego busy with truth it will keep you busy with  falsehood; and their statement that deprivation is immunity".

Foetal Mysteries

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RasoolAllah sallAllahu alayhi wasallam explains that there are three initial stages to the creation of a human in a mother's womb. The first stage is of Nutfah, which refers to the parents' liquids having contact with each other. The second stage is of Alaqah, wherein a clot of blood is formed and Allah Ta'ala houses it securely in the womb. The next stage is of Mudghah, wherein Allah Ta'ala makes it into flesh. At the end of the third stage (Mudghah), an angel comes to the four month old foetus and upon the instruction of Allah Ta'ala, it starts forming the baby's bodily appearance and the child's Rooh enters the body. This occurs 120 days after the parents' liquids have met. Based on instruction from Allah Ta'ala, the angel records the details of child's Rizq, death the deeds he will perform. The angel also notes whether the child will be one of pleasure or displeasure. Allah Ta'ala creates in the child the ability to see and perceive. -Sahih Muslim- Thus by the stage of Mudghah, a new human has been created.

We now look at how each of these attributes, were found in RasoolAllah sallAllahu alayhi wasallam, namely the formation of the body, the Rooh entering the body, the Rizq, deeds, place and time of death, and state of happiness or sadness being recorded.

 

1. Physical Appearance of RasoolAllah sallAllahu alayhi wasallam

Jibreel Alayhis Salaam said that, I traversed the east and the west of the earth, and I did not see a man better than Muhummud sallAllahu alayhi wasallam, and I did not see a paternal lineage better than Banu Haashim. -Imam Bayhaqi and Abu Nuaym in their Dalaailin Nabuwwa- Haafidh alAsqalani says that this deduction of Jibreel Alayhis Salaam makes it very clear that RasoolAllah sallAllahu alayhi wasallam is the best in all aspects of his physical existence. -Mawahibul Ladunya- We can understand from this that Allah Ta'aala created RasoolAllah sallAllahu alayhi wasallam with the best physical attributes.

2. Rooh of RasoolAllah sallAllahu alayhi wasallam

Imam Ghazzali in a lengthy discussion explains that the Rooh of RasoolAllah sallAllahu alayhi wasallam is directly connected to Allah Ta'aala. This unique nature of his Rooh allows him to make the Ma'rifa of Allah Ta'aala like no other person. -Mishkaatul Anwaar-

 

3. Rizq of RasoolAllah sallAllahu alayhi wasallam

At first, fasting was almost a full day. Iftaar was at Maghrib, but once one fell asleep, the next fast commenced. During the hot Arabian summer, this meant that fasting could have an effect on a person's health.

Despite these long hours, RasoolAllah sallAllahu alayhi wasallam would keep Nafl fasts for days on end. Some Sahaba radi Allahu anhum followed suit. However RasoolAllah sallAllahu alayhi wasallam advised them to rather keep fast every alternate day or even just three days a month. They said to RasoolAllah sallAllahu alayhi wasallam that you keep continuous fast, and we like to follow that. He sallAllahu alayhi wasallam replied that you are not like me, I receive the nourishment of food and drink. -Masnad Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal-

This means that the blessed body of RasoolAllah sallAllahu alayhi wasallam received Rizq directly from Allah Ta'aala. We receive our Rizq through our earnings, with which we buy food, which we in turn cook, eat and need to digest. Khalif Umar bin Khattab radi Allahu anhu says that in receiving Rizq through food, the food is a veil between us and the Provider. -Kitaab Zuhd- However this veil was removed for RasoolAllah sallAllahu alayhi wasallam and he was able to receive his Rizq directly from Allah Ta'aala.

 

4. Deeds

Surah Waaqia explains that on the Day of Resurrection, we would be separated into two groups, those on the right and those on the left. Those on the right would be the righteous.

RasoolAllah sallAllahu alayhi wasallam says that he will be on the right and he will be the best of those on the right. Then from amongst those on right, the foremost of the foremost will be chosen and they would be the best of us. Surah Waaqia says that they would be chosen according to their deeds. -Surah Waaqia v 10- In this regards too, RasoolAllah sallAllahu alayhi wasallam says that he will be in this group, known as Saabiqoon asSaabiqoon, and from all of them he will be the best. -Imam Bayhaqi in his Dalaailin Nabuwwa-

As we have seen, Surah Waaqia says that the grading of the Saabiqqon asSaabiqoon is according to their deeds, and RasoolAllah sallAllahu alayhi wasallam says that he would be the best of the Saabiqoon asSaabiqoon. This means that from all of creation, The deeds of RasoolAllah sallAllahu alayhi wasallam would be the most excellent in total and nature.

 

5. Place and Time of Death

 

For each of us, the place and time of our death has been fixed by Allah Ta'aala and it is recorded by the angel whilst we are just 4 months in our mother's womb. However for RasoolAllah sallAllahu alayhi wasallam it was different.

During the last day of RasoolAllah's sallAllahu alayhi wasallam final illness, his daughter Sayyidah Faatima radi Allahu anha was at his house. She heard a somebody at the door. The man made Salaam and asked to enter. Sayyidah Faatima radi Allahu anha said to the man may Allah Ta'aala reward you but she politely did not allow him in. After his third Salaam, RasoolAllah sallAllahu alayhi wasallam told Sayyidah Faatima radi Allahu anha that is actually the Angel of Death, so let him in.

RasoolAllah sallAllahu alayhi wasallam asked the Angel of Death if he had come to visit or to take him. The Angel of Death said that he came to visit and that Allah Ta'aala instructed that he can only take away RasoolAllah sallAllahu alayhi wasallam when he sallAllahu alayhi wasallam wants. Jibreel Alayhis Salaam came and he explained that he has opened the door of the sky and of Jannah in anticipation of RasoolAllah sallAllahu alayhi wasallam. The Hoors (heavenly maidens) are all adorned and ready for RasoolAllah's sallAllahu alayhi wasallam reception. And he has arranged the angels in saffs, so that they will stand up sending greetings to RasoolAllah sallAllahu alayhi wasallam. After a while RasoolAllah sallAllahu alayhi wasallam gave permission to the Angel of Death to take hold of him. -Imam Tabraani in Mu'jam alKabeer-

With regards to all of us, our time and place of death is recorded whilst we are in the womb. We have no choice about it, and death pounces upon us unexpectedly. However in the case of RasoolAllah sallAllahu alayhi wasallam, he had to choose his time and place, and all the heavenly beings gave him a grand reception as his soul passed through.

 

6. Happiness or Sadness

The last thing that the angel records whilst the child is in the womb, is if the child will be one who would be happy or sad. With regards to RasoolAllah sallAllahu alayhi wasallam, the Quran confirms that RasoolAllah sallAllahu alayhi wasallam would be one who would be pleased; happy.

Allah Ta'aala says, And soon your Rabb will give you such abundance that you would be pleased. -alQuran 93:5-

Some say that being happy or sad, refers to whether the person would end up in Paradise or Hell. In this respects too, RasoolAllah sallAllahu alayhi wasallam has been guaranteed his happiness, for Allah Ta'aala has undertaken that none will enter Paradise before RasoolAllah sallAllahu alayhi wasallam. -Imam Tabraani-

These six points are the matters that an angel would record for each baby in it's mother's womb. As we have just discussed above, in each of these six points, Allah Ta'aala has blessed RasoolAllah sallAllahu alayhi wasallam immensely and beyond any other human. After all, he is Allah Ta'ala's most Beloved.

Ramadaan: The month of the Ummah

Ramadaan is divided into 3: The first 10 days are for Allah's mercy, the middle 10 are for His forgiveness and the last 10 are

for emancipation from the fire. An obligatory act done in Ramadaan equals 70 obligatory acts done any other time of the

year, and a voluntary act equals an obligation.

Introduction to Islam in S.A.

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All Praises belong to Almighty Allah Rabbul Ala'meen, Creator and Sustainer of the Universe and unfathomable Lord of Mercy, Muhabbat, and Grace.

May we all delve to join the everlasting praises His Malaa'eeka and the Blessed ones are constantly celebrating, and may His eternal and most effulgent blessings shower upon His Beloved Nabee  Muhammad Ibn Abdullah Rahmatul Liel Ala'meen Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam and upon all of Allah's Ambiya Alayhim Salaam be the Peace and Blessings of the Creator and Sustainer of the heavens and the earth.

The pages of early Islamic history of South Africa is illuminated by the Divine Light of Al Islam that has enabled the Muslim Ummah of this newly liberated country to celebrate 350 years of its Islamic heritage. Free at last from the tentacles of the satanic system of Apartheid. Yes! Free at last from the brutality, the oppression and repression of the inhuman and hated Pass Laws, free at last from burying our heroes and our freedom fighters in silence.

Free from the infamous Group Areas Act, the dreaded 90 and 120 day detentions without trial, free from being incarcerated in one of the dungeons of Robben Island; free from the feared banging on the door in the middle of a moonless night by the Special Branch. Free from the disappearance and mysterious deaths of our political leaders and martyrs while in detention. Free at last from the tyranny of the great trials and tribulations of being black and living under the most ruthless and tyrannical laws of the devil himself.....the evil  apartheid system. Yes! we are free at last from the merciless and murderous clutches of a system that deprived many millions of Almighty God's innocent children.

Today the Muslims of South Africa can live as free people in the true sense of the word and they must become fully aware what Islam demands of them and the role they have to play in a newly liberated South Africa. What are we to do for the realization of the ideal that Islam sets forth before us? Yes, whither is the way? What ought we to do? We know that the Path that we have chosen for ourselves is not strewn with flowers. It is rather a way that calls for sweat, dedication, unity, understanding and commitment. It demands sacrifices, self-immolation, tribulations and a readiness to exert ourselves to the utmost for the establishing of the Din of Haqq, the Din of the Absolute Truth. There is nothing strange in this, for similar is the case with every Divine duty. Sacrifices are inevitable when one is involved in reviving and establishing the religio-political ethos of Islam. There is no short cut to success.

Today we are free at last from bondage of blatant racism and every Muslim knows that to separate religion from politics is to deprive Divine Law of its most important sphere of jurisdiction. It is no wonder that the colonial and neo-colonial powers and their agents - the greatest enemies of Almighty Allah's sovereignty over human society and of the independence and dignity of nations - have always tried to separate religion from politics, because they know that the only power that can fight their encroachment is the spiritual zeal of the oppressed peoples when it manifests itself as a political force demanding justice, freedom, independence, human dignity and equality.

Before freedom came to our most beautiful country - being black meant that collectively, we all were systematically brutalized under the satanic rule and behaviour of the white leaders and architects of apartheid. All that mattered to them was power, position, wealth and domination. It was the law of the jungle that they ultimately considered supreme. These upholders of apartheid killed two birds with one stone. On the one hand, they tried to stop the spiritual zeal of the masses from political expression and participation in politics and, by depoliticizing them, from taking their destiny into their own hands.

On the other, they kept themselves scot-free, free of any kind of moral or legal obligation or responsibility. However, as Muslims, we should know that in Islam, religion does not need to be politicized: politics is already part and parcel of its eternal teaching and it will remain so despite the efforts of the colonial and imperialist agents to depoliticize Islam and the Muslim Ummah. Why then, may I humbly ask, should we who profess to be true and dedicated Muslims not strive in the Path of Almighty Allah Rabbul Ala'meen and be ready to suffer for the lofty and most glorious cause before us - for honour, for glory and for social justice - when the great sacrifices already experienced by us because of apartheid, blatant racism, opprobrium, obloquy, poverty, weakness and disintegration are no less severe than the sacrifices called for by Islam.

Let none dare ever say that the revival of Islam - the Din of Haqq, is an impossible and hopeless undertaking or that such an attempt would be an exercise in futility. Surely, what once was possible in the past surely must still be possible in the present, for mankind has temperamentally not undergone any change ever since. The world of humanity had sunk then, as now, to a very low level and was as much taken up with sensual pleasures as it at present seems to be. This is indeed a most distressing and frightening picture of today's world but do not despair for there is one redeeming factor. O Ummatul Muslimeen, that redeeming factor is Islam.  Yes, Islam freed mankind from the tyranny of animal appetites over fourteen hundred years ago and Islam is the only hope for freeing mankind from the tentacles of lust, ego and wickedness. Islam allows man to be free and to direct all its faculties to soar up to a higher spiritual plane and goodness in life.

Indeed, Islam has been so gravely misunderstood and misrepresented throughout the world that many people think of it as an enemy to any sort of stability, peace and progress; they mistrust it, they fear it and regard it as a dire threat without as a rule knowing anything about it other than what the popular media convey, which almost invariably reflects grave inaccuracies, Fithnah, distortions, misinformation and deliberate errors. Virtually without exception these misrepresent not only the details of the Islamic system and the motivations and characters of sincere Muslims, but also the fundamental concepts and teachings of the religion. The world is suddenly filled with non-Muslim "experts" on Islam who consider themselves far more knowledgeable about it than the Muslims who are living it day by day.

Islam and all its followers throughout South Africa and the rest of the world surely deserve to be represented accurately and to be understood correctly by anyone who desires to be well informed and to be made aware. This is our duty as Muslims; to present the beauty, the brotherhood and the Muhabbat that Islam offers  to each and to every human being on this planet. Islam is our only means to regain honour, leadership and social justice, the question is whether we Muslims in South Africa are prepared to lead the way to the realization of Islamic ideology in a world hostile to it and in the presence of deranged dictators and despots who rule throughout Muslim countries and who fight against it more furiously than its enemies from abroad? Are we Muslims in South Africa prepared to lead the caravan of Taqwa and Tawhid or will we choose to be camp dwellers?

It is our foremost Islamic duty  to present Islam to all the people of South Africa with the Divine proof that Islam is indeed the only future hope of humanity, and its victorious emergence out of the present ideological warfare is the only guarantee of mankind's salvation. But important as the triumph of Islam is for the future of mankind, its realization is also not a mere illusion. Such a triumph of Islam would mean the abolition of the menacing shadows of an approaching worldwide conflagration; it would mean a happy home and a happy, peaceful world. Islam is a manifesto of human liberation. It frees man from worship of others; sovereignty belongs truly to the Most Glorious and Exalted Creator. Its first summons, "Say: There is no god but Allah, and prosper", propounds Tauhid as the necessary means to that end.

It was Islam that helped the early Muslims of South Africa 350 years ago and Islam remains the only force that can help the present generation. Our stand and position today as Muslims is not the least different from that taken up the early Muslims. It is heartening to note that despite all hurdles and ruthless opposition, Islam continues to spread day by day. On balance, the revival of Islam seems inevitable. Islam is destined to play as glorious a role as it played in the first days of its advent. It promises peace, brotherhood and justice to the world of today which is wholly taken up with ego, wealth and material pleasures and gain, and as a result thereof stricken with conflicts and disruptions.

Islam strikes a balance between matter and spirit, and is thus the only hope for humanity to get out of the present mess. As such the world is bound sooner or later to realise the absolute truth of Islam and adopt its principles even if it does not formally embrace it as its religion. As for us, the Muslims of South Africa - the workers of Islam, we admit that we are fully alive to the fact that the path before us is not a bed of roses. We will have to offer sacrifices - great and many sacrifices, in order to convince the people of South Africa and the world at large of the intrinsic goodness and Truth of Islam. But let us ever bear in mind that the only way towards that end is but that of self-immolation:

"Allah will certainly aid those who aid

His (cause) - for verily Allah is Full of Strength, Exalted in Might, Able to enforce His Will."

Let me conclude by saying that the glorious history of Islam has proved beyond all doubt that the divine teachings of this great religion have been successful in producing equilibrium between the different strata of human society. The religion of Nabee Muhammad Ibn Abdullah - Rahmatul Liel Ala'meen - Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam has been successful in abolishing the privileged classes and exploiting agencies in human society and if the heart of a suffering humanity can have any sustaining hope of emancipation it is by turning to the heavenly revealed scriptures contained in the Most Glorious and Holy Qur'an.

A great responsibility rests on this generation of Muslims. The manner in which they discharge this responsibility will decide whether we are truly a Millah, a community of dedicated men and women inspired by the moral principles of the Divine Message which our Beloved Nabee - Rahmatul Liel Ala'meen Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam has laid before us, or just a chaotic mass of people, a rabble without faith, without aim and without a future.  My most beloved brothers and sisters in Islam, it is for you and for me, for all of us to decide which of the two ways we shall choose: the way of faith, courage and discipline - the way which leads to the establishment of a truly Islamic society - or the road to despondency, chaos and unforgettable shame.

Man is gradually coming to the realization that freedom and justice cannot be built on any foundations except that of spirituality. The future age could be an era of freedom and justice based on spirituality. Does Islam have any message except this? The thirst of human beings for freedom and justice based on spirituality places a heavy responsibility on the shoulders of the entire Muslim Ummah. Our important duty is to achieve, through a proper method on the basis of the basic criteria of Islam, a healthy order consonant with the needs of time and place. As Muslims, we must strive in this path with the motive of achieving the Pleasure of Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala and His acceptance. No doubt Almighty Allah Rabbul Ala'meen will guide and assist us for this is what He promised us in verse 69 of Surah Al-Ankabut:

"And those who strive in Our Cause - We will certainly guide

them To Our Paths, for Verily Allah is with those who do Right."

In that case, not only the Muslims but the entire population of South Africa will feel that Islam has bestowed upon them honour, pride, and dignity and they will wholeheartedly come to see the beauty and the Muhabbat of the Din of Haqq and, as a result, the Blessings and Baraka'h of Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala and the support of the people will be the backing of our efforts and dedication. With this backing, we can Insha'Allah help build our economy, polity and culture by relying on the will of all the peoples of South Africa in the way of Almighty Allah's good pleasure.

And Almighty Allah is the All-Knowing.

And Peace be upon those who follow the Guidance.

The Truth is from Almighty Allah; the errors are all mine

and I stand to be corrected.

Baarak Allaahu Feekum wa-sal-Allaahu wa-Sallam 'alaa

Nabiyyinaa Muhammad Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam.

Imam Abdul Hamid

 

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The Enlightened Path

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"O Almighty Allah Rabbul Ala'meen!

With Thy Holy Name I begin and from Thee I seek guidance and support.

Beloved people of Imaan! In Islam, all existence is the creation of Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala and an image of His knowledge and power; the whole universe is attracted to Him, and man is His creature, superior to others, and His Khalifah on earth. By employing his intrinsic talents, man can build the world created for him, in the most beautiful ways and flying on the two wings of faith and knowledge, rise to the highest peaks of spiritual attainment. Conversely, man can create oppression and corruption by going astray and wasting and perverting his Allah-given potential. The only light illuminating his path is belief in Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala and submission to His Commands.

Dearest brothers & Sisters in Islam: If you've arrived at a stage of reasoning at which you're questioning things and searching through the darkness for something that can make sense out of existence, then perhaps the time has come for you to sit down and try to work out what you believe. Over the centuries, there have been a chain of awareness relating to the existence of our Most Glorious and Exalted Creator and Sustainer, different generations been granted such awareness through various enlightened people whom Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala brought close to Himself. These chosen Messengers called people to Almighty Allah and organized those who responded to their call into communities of faith.

The three great monotheist religions are, as we know, Islam, Christianity and Judaism. Of these, Islam differs somewhat from the other two, in that it claims to be the final and summative statement of genuine revealed knowledge of Almighty Allah Rabbul Ala'meen, encompassing all the truths taught by the Ambiya Alayhim Salaam who lived prior to Nabee Muhammad Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam, and remains eternally valid due to the very nature of its miraculous revelation in the form of exact-word statements that were learnt, memorized, written down and passed on to all future generations.

All religion starts with realization. It lies at the very heart of religion, and it can begin even when faith, or even the possibility of faith, is very weak. No religious leader or teacher in the world can make it happen, although they may do their best to guide people toward Almighty Allah. One of the most important declarations which Muslims believe that have been made by Almighty Allah is verse 256 of Surah Al-Baqara. If a thing is true, it doesn't matter what anyone thinks or says about it, it will in the end be self-evident, and people, when they attain reason, will either come to realize it or deliberately choose to ignore it.

"Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear

from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped

the most trustworthy handhold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth

and knoweth all things."

You cannot be forced to feel faith any more than you can be forced to feel love. It's a matter of awareness. According to Islam, the person who submits to the Will of Almighty Allah, which is a good Will, and obeys the Law of the Exalted Creator, which is the best Law, is a sound and honest person. He is gaining protection of his own rights, showing genuine respect for the rights of others, and enjoying a high degree of responsible, creative freedom. Submission to the good Will of Almighty Allah Rabbul Ala'meen, therefore, does not take away or curtail individual freedom. On the contrary, it gives freedom of a high degree in abundant measures.

It is impossible to force or impose a belief by means of decree, command, adjudicate, terror, pressure, or violence. No human being can be drilled like an animal. One minute there may be nothing at all; you're going along your merry way when all of a sudden - wham! Your whole Doonya suddenly changes, and you become the most insightful and enlightened being because of your flash of insight. Alhumdoelillah! all of a sudden, you become aware of His Exalted Presence and  you realize that you are an insignificant speck of dust in the vastness of Almighty Allah's creation. You really don't know how to describe it.

You feel an incredible wave of emotion that you cannot explain, a kind of overwhelming joy, gratitude, and amazement that your Glorious Creator and Sustainer sees, loves, and cares about you. Suddenly you come to the realization that all those times when you felt alone, you were not alone at all since Almighty Allah was always with you. You have heard many stories of how people broke down and burst into tears and how ridiculous it sounded at the time, but now, it is your turn, your time has come and you want to shout out in joy and cry at the same time.

Suddenly, you find that the temporal world is indeed a cultivating ground for the Aghirah, and death is not the end of life but only a passage to immortality and the beginning of a new existence. All this time you thought that man becomes a Muslim when he confesses belief in the Oneness of Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala and in Nabee Muhammad Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam as His Last Messenger. But this is far from the full meaning of Faith because the full meaning of Faith in Islam is not, by any means, something nominal or mere formality. Faith in Islam is a state of happiness acquired by virtue of positive action and constructive conceptions as well as dynamic and effective measures.

You want to announce to the world that the Most Noble and Holy Qur'an and the Sunnah and Seerah of our Beloved Nabee - Rahmatul Liel Ala'meen Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam defines these required measures and establishes the standards that builds up a meaningful Faith. You know now that a true Muh'min is one who believes in Almighty Allah, His angels, His Books, as completed by the Qur'an, His Messengers with Nabee Muhammad Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam being the Last and Final of them all, the Day of Final Judgement, and the absolute Knowledge and Wisdom of Almighty Allah. It is now clear to you that the very meaning of Faith makes Islam penetrate deeply and constructively into every aspect of life.

You feel greatly blessed because you know that Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala wants to help you fulfill the purpose of life so that you may realize the goal of existence and enjoy the good taste of life according to Islam's Divine guidance. Yes, you fully agree that life is a trust from your Creator, and as a trustee, you must at all times handle that trust with honesty and skill, with mindfulness of Almighty Allah Rabbul Ala'meen and with consciousness of responsibility to Him alone.

We can pass our lives as automatons, like machines, or we can take the leap of faith and change our entire motivation. Even if we cannot see our Most Glorious Creator, we could start to alter our lives and behave in such a way that He sees us and that He understands all our inner thoughts and motivations. We can make the leap of faith like true believers and come full circle to the Shahadah, the Divine Declaration of Faith: "La Ilaha Ilal Lahu Muhammadur Rasulullah." [There is no deity except Allah, and Nabee Muhammad Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallamis His Messenger].

Faith is a force that is greater than knowledge or power of will. The darkest defeat turns to triumph if we trust in Almighty Allah's Wisdom and Will. For faith is a mover of mountains. There is nothing man cannot achieve if he has the courage to try it and then has the faith to believe. Yes, opening the eyes of the spirit takes a great deal of courage and a moment of decision. The moment of realization that maybe it is all real where submission to Almighty Allah begins. It is not the end of the story by any means, but only the beginning. If the reality of Islam is not present in us, we cannot hope for any help from Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala since it is faith alone that counts with Him and carries weight for this is made crystal clear to us in verse 9 of Surah Yunus:

"Allah shall guide to the Path of Happiness those who believe and do good deeds."

A person who believes willingly implements the law that he or she has come to accept as expressions of the Eternal Wisdom of Almighty Allah Rabbul Ala'meen. Such a person recognizes, moreover, that while obeying those laws he or she is journeying towards eternity and an imperishable realm across a span of infinite time. The narrow vision of human knowledge is incapable of fully comprehending the lofty destiny of such a person.

And Almighty Allah knows best.

Imam Abdul Hamid

 

The Power of the Kalima

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Our Beloved Nabee Muhammad Ibn Abdullah Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam came, holding the flag of Islam in his hand, and bearing a motto of which the very first word was "La" (No!). That one word - "La" - at the very beginning of the testimony contains the whole destructive but also the entire constructive power that Islam came out with in the shape of a glorious revolution. The question that arises: Why did Islam appear first with a word such as "La" (No!)?

How does it come about that this word "La"  occurs at the very beginning of the sentence which has as its goal the affirmation of Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala's Wahdaniyyah (Unity and Oneness)? A very simple linguistic explanation would arise in the fact that a negative syntactic form is more effective for an affirmation of the subject than a positive one would be.

Thus "La" (No!) on the flag of Islam was not meant for some existing deities. Not only because they are not in existence but also because their existence is not possible at all. The word "La" (No!) was therefore sent to the human intellect, and to human reason and knowledge, putting forward first of all the semantic and ontological absurdity of the existence of plurality in the concepts of Almighty Allah, Perfection, Unity, Oneness and Sovereignty etc.

So Islam and its "La" (No!) first revolutionized the human intellect. Ontically, no other deity can ever compete with Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala. However, as we learn from the Most Holy and Glorious Qur'an, they have been competing with Almighty Allah Azza Wajjal as materialized deaf and dumb idols whose brittle nature was shown by Nabee Ebrahim Alayhis Salaam who destroyed them into pieces.

At one time this word "La" (No!) created a generation - the generation of Sahaba Ridwanullahi Ta'ala Alayhim Ajma'een - without comparison in the history of Islam, even in the history of man. This is without any question of a doubt the open truth of history, and we as the favoured Ummah of Almighty Allah's Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam ought to ponder over it deeply so that we may reach and attain its secret.

Why did this call begin in this manner? And why did the Divine Wisdom decide that this call be confronted in the initial stages with the word "La"? It was Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala's Wisdom that this fundamental question should be made to His Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam and to his Ummah. This Doonya belongs exclusively to Almighty Allah and should be purified and cleansed for none other than Rabbul Ala'meen. It cannot be purified for Him unless the banner of:

"La Illaha Illalla."

is unfurled across the length and breath of this earth. Man is a slave and servant to his Glorious Creator and Sustainer alone, and he can remain so only if he unfurls the banner of:

"La Illaha Illalla."   -  "There is no deity except Allah."

It was Almighty Rabbul Ala'meen's Wisdom that this fundamental question of faith and belief should be made the central theme of the initial call to His Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam to all of humanity. The very first message brought to the people was that they bear witness with the declaration of:

"La Illaha Illalla."   -  "There is no deity except Allah."

Our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam devoted his efforts to making known to people Who their True Creator and Sustainer is and that they should worship Him and Him Alone. The Meccan portion of the Most Holy and Glorious Qur'an revealed to our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam - over a period of thirteen years, dealt only with:

"La Illaha Illalla."   -  "There is no deity except Allah."

This is the great question upon which mankind's existence depends and will continue to depend until the end of time. And thus the full thirteen years of the Meccan period were spent in explaining and expounding this fundamental question, that question from which all other questions and details pertaining to human life are derived.

The Most Holy and Glorious Qur'an made this question the only subject of its message during the Meccan period and never discussed other subsidiary and derived matters. These subsidiary topics were not mentioned until Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala decided that matters pertaining to faith had been fully explained and that

"La Illaha Illalla."    -  "There is no deity except Allah."

had entered into the hearts of that illustrious selected group of people who were to establish His Din and were to give it a practical form. Those who call toward Allah's Din and want to establish the way of life prescribed by this Din should ponder at length over this significant fact, that for thirteen long years the Most Holy and Glorious Qur'an exclusively expounded this faith and did not deviate from this issue to describe the details of that system which was to be established on this faith or any laws for the organization of the Muslim Ummah.

From the viewpoint of the limited understanding of mankind, it does not seem as though this would be the easiest way to reach the hearts of the pagan Arabs. They knew their language well and knew the meaning of "Ilah" (Allah), and they also knew the meaning of:

"La Illaha Illalla.:     -  "There is no deity except Allah."

They knew that "Uluhiyah" means 'sovereignty' and they also realized that ascribing sovereignty only to Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala meant that their ego, the authority and self-proclaimed prestige and power would be taken away from the priests, the leaders of the tribes, the wealthy and the rulers, and would revert only to Rabbul  Ala'meen.

It also meant that only Almighty Allah's authority would prevail in the hearts and conscience, in matters pertaining to religious observances and in the affairs of life such as business, the distribution of wealth and the dispensation of justice - in short, in the soul and bodies of men. They knew very well that the proclamation of

"La Illaha Illalla" was a serious challenge to that worldly authority which had usurped the greatest attribute of Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala, namely, sovereignty.

"La Illaha Illalla."    -  "There is no deity except Allah."

was a rebellion against all modes of behaviour which have been devised under this usurpation and was a declaration of war against the authority which legislates laws not permitted by Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala. It was no secret to the pagan Arabs who knew the real meaning of this message - what its significance was in relation to their pagan traditions, their rule and their power. They greeted this call - this revolutionary message with anger, and fought against it with that vigour which is well known to us.

At the time of our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam's call to Messengership, Arab society was devoid of proper distribution of wealth and devoid of justice. A small group monopolized all wealth and commerce, which increased through usury (Ribah). The great majority of the people were poor and hungry. The wealthy were regarded as noble and distinguished, and the common people were not only deprived of wealth but also of dignity and honour.

The moral level of Arabia was extremely low from every point of view and only a few primitive tribal mores prevailed. Oppression, repression and injustice was the rule of the day. The Divine Declaration of "La Illaha Illalla" was capable of starting a social movement, declaring war against the class of nobles and the wealthy, taking away their wealth and distributing it among the poor, the needy and the destitute.

When, after hard work and dedication, belief became firm and the authority to which this belief refers was acknowledged, when people recognized their Supreme Creator and Sustainer and worshipped Him Alone, when they became independent not only of other human beings but also of their own desires, and when "La Illaha Illalla" became imprinted on their hearts - then Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala, through faith and through the believers, provided everything which was needed.

 

 

Almighty Allah's earth became free so that His Authority might be established and that the earth might be cleared of all rebels against Him, whether they were Roman, Persian or Arab. The society was freed from the shackles of oppression, and the Islamic system was established in which justice was Allah's Justice and in which weighing was Almighty Allah's Balance. The banner of social justice was raised in the name of One Creator, and the name of the banner was Al-Islam. No other name was added to it and "La Illaha Illalla" was written on it.

When belief in "La Illaha Illalla" penetrates into the deep recesses of the heart, it also penetrates through the whole system of life, which is a practical interpretation of this faith. By this I mean, those who believe are already pleased with the system which this faith uniquely determines and submit in principle to all the laws and injunctions and details even before they are promulgated. Indeed, the spirit of submission is the first requirement of Imaan. Through this spirit of submission the believers learn the Islamic regulations and laws with eagerness and pleasure.

In this manner, the killing of daughters, drinking and fornication was forbidden, usury was prohibited, and gambling was proscribed, and all the evil habits of the Days of Ignorance were completely abolished - abolished by a few verses of the Most Holy and Glorious Qur'an or by a few words from the lips of our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam. Islam is a most beautiful and practical religion; it has come to order the practical affairs of life. Islam is not a 'theory' based on 'assumptions' - it is a way of life working with actuality. Thus it is first necessary that a Muslim community come into existence which believes in "La Illaha Illalla" which commits itself to obey none other but Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala, denying all other authority, and which challenges the legality of any law which is not based on this belief.

When the revival of this religion starts among a people, this aspect of it must have first priority. The very first Islamic call was based on it; thirteen complete years of the Meccan period of the Most Holy and Glorious Qur'an were devoted to this Divine Message of "La Illaha Illalla." The Most Glorious Qur'an did not come down at once but took thirteen years to construct and strengthen the structure of Imaan. Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala could have revealed the entire Qur'an at once and then left the Sahaba Ridwanullahi Ta'ala Alayhim Ajma'een to learn it for a period of thirteen years so that they would master the "Islamic Theory."

But Almighty Rabbul Ala'meen did not choose this method. He wanted something else. He wanted to lay the foundations of a community, a nation, a movement and a belief simultaneously. He wanted the community and the movement to be founded on a belief, while with dynamic progress of the community the faith also grew. This is the glorious character of our beautiful Din, and the Meccan period of the Most Holy and Glorious Qur'an testifies to it.

The theoretical foundation of Islam, in every period of history, has been to witness "La Illaha Illalla"  which means to bear witness that the only true Creator is Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala, that He Alone is Gafooroor Raheem, that He Alone is the Creator, Sustainer and Ruler of the heavens and the earth, and that He Alone is the Real Sovereign; to believe in Him in our hearts, to worship Him Alone, and to put into practice His Holy Sharia'h.

Without the declaration and complete acceptance of "La Illaha Illalla" which differentiates the one who says he is a Muslim from a non-Muslim, there cannot be any practical significance to this declaration, nor will it have any weight according to the Islamic Law. We know of Almighty Allah's guidance through one source only, that is, through our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam. Thus, in the second part of the Holy Islamic Code, we bear witness:

"Muhammadar Rasoolullah"

"And I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah."

In this great Islamic society, all nations and all races were gathered and united as a single Ummah under the banner of "La Illaha Illallahu Muhammadar Rasoolullah." Their various characteristics were united, and with Muhabbat and mutual cooperation, harmony and unity they took part in the construction of the Islamic community and Islamic culture. This marvelous civilization was not an "Arab civilization" not even for a single day; it was purely an Islamic civilization. It was never a 'nationality' but always a 'community' of belief - united under the banner of the Holy Code of Islam

"La Illaha Illallahu Muhammadar Rasoolullah."

These are characteristics which were never achieved by any other group of people in the entire history of mankind.

Baarak Allaahu Feekum wa sal-Allaahu wa-salkam

'alaa Nabiyyinaa Muhammad Sallallaho Alaahi Wasallam.

Was Salamu alaykum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuhoo.

Imam Abdul Hamid

 

Following the Sunnah

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QUESTION:

Salam Alaikum, Why must we follow the Hadith and Sunnah? Is not the Qur'an enough? I have heard that the Hadith were not even preserved and most of them are "made-up."

ANSWER:

Wa Alaykum As-Salam,

The Blessed Qur'an commands us in numerous Verses to "Obey the Prophet", "Take what he gives you", "Avoid what he forbids you", "He is the best example for you"....all in addition to the original order of "Obey Allah".

Allah Almighty would not have ordered us to obey the Prophet (SAW) if the teachings of the Prophet (SAW) were not to be preserved and known?!

The first Muslims, the Sahabah, took the above Divine Commandments seriously and therefore obeyed the Prophet (SAW) in everything and noted all his teachings and counsels (which then became known as "al-Sunnah")

Then it was these same Sahabah who passed down both the Qur'an and the Sunnah to future generations, as the sources of ISLAM.

By claiming now to follow "Only the Qur'an", one is basically saying:

- "I disobey those Verses of the Qur'an which order me to obey the Prophet (SAW)  and take him as an example" (how can I if nothing of his teachings is preserved anyways)

- "I will take from the Prophet (SAW), the Qur'an only, but I will not take anything else from him"

- "I will trust the Sahabah to deliver the Qur'an to me but I don't trust them to deliver the Sunnah!!!"

Needless to say, such an attitude does not make any sense. By rejecting the Sunnah, one must necessarily reject the Qur'an as well, as they both come to us from the same sources: The Prophet (SAW) and the Sahabah.

Therefore, by rejecting the Sunnah, we are destroying the foundations of Islam itself.

 

Furthermore, the Prophetic Sunnah is there to explain the Qur'an, as the Qur'an itself states (check for example the initial

Verses of Surah al-Jumu'ah). Allah Almighty states that He has sent us the Book and its Teacher.

So are we going to say to Allah: We accept the Book but we don't accept the Teacher?!

Indeed, without the Sunnah, many injunctions of the Qur'an would be impossible to fulfill. For example, the Qur'an orders us to pray, but nowhere does it explain how the Prayer is done. This is only learned from the Sunnah.

Without the Sunnah, we will also not be able to know the various backgrounds (asbab al-nuzul) of the various Surahs of the Qur'an, as well as their merits, number of verses....etc.

In short, the Qur'an cannot be practiced without the Sunnah.

Of course, I understand that many fabrications crept into the large corpus of the Sunnah. However, our great scholars have worked hard to weed these out and set methodologies for us also to weed them out.

It is very easy to know which of the Sunnah is very authentic, which is semi-authentic, which is questionable, and what is fabrication.

We should not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

The Sunnah is full of great Prophetic Treasures. I will advise people to study it before they judge it. A good start would be the 40 Hadith of Imam al-Nawawi, and the Riyadh al-Salihin by him as well.

It would be shame for us Muslims to claim that the Ummah preserved the Word of God, the Qur'an, but did not preserve anything from the Words of his Final Prophet (SAW)!!!

It would also be lie!

 

Women attending the Eid Salaah

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As-Salam Alaykum,

There has been much controversy in South Africa regarding our mothers and sisters in Islam attending the Eid prayers. Others in the Muslim world will find it amusing!

The Hadith of the Prophet (SAW) as narrated by Imam Bukhari and others is CLEAR that the women would attend the Eid Salah in the Era of the Prophet (SAW).

In fact, the Prophet (SAW) would order all women, including the young virgins, those in haydh, and those did not have proper clothes to attend (the latter were instructed to borrow clothes and the menstruating women to just sit there in the Eidgah/Musalla).

This was the Sunnah of the Prophet (SAW) as he established it for all generations.

Of course, in later times, with the expansion of Islam to various lands and cultures, this Sunnah was "temporarily suspended" by some Fuqaha, especially noting that the attendance of women was not considered an Obligation, but an Encouraged matter (which may be "suspended temporarily" by the Ulama considering their context).

They tried to suspend it due to (genuine or cultural) fears of Fitna and danger.

The Hanafis were at the forefront of this "suspension". The founding savant of the Hanafi Madh-hab, Imam Muhammad bin al-Hasan narrates in his Kitab al-Athaar that:

"Imam Abu-Hanifah informed us from Abd-al-Karim ibn Abi'l-Mukhariq that (the female Sahabi) Umm Atiyyah (RA) said:

"Women used to be granted as a concession ("ordered" in other stronger narations) to go out to attend the two Eids (prayers): al-Fitr and al-Adha (i.e. in the time of the Prophet SAW)."

However, immediately after that, Imam Muhammad states:

"Their going out to attend the Eid does not please us, except for old women beyond child-bearing age. This is the opinion of Abu-Hanifah also."

As we can see from this early Hanafi text: all women were already attending the Eid prayer (as per the established Sunnah) in those early days.

However, it seems that the noble Imam Abu-Hanifah (a Persian from Iraq) did not "like it".

Nevertheless, even he (RA) also, made an exception for "older women". He didn't ban it outright!

It seems that this Hanafi opinion of "suspending the Sunnah" (not "prohibiting it" as no one can do that), spread in Hanafi ruled lands (e.g. Indo-Pak), where the local pre-Islamic cultures were already very conservative regarding women attending public gatherings.

HOWEVER, I wish to remind everyone here that while this may have been the case with Hanafi India or Salafi Arabia (exception of the Haramayn though); in OTHER PARTS OF THE MUSLIM WORLD, the Sunnah of women attending the Eid Salah has continued uninterrupted.

Nobody "suspended it" or stopped it ever.

I attach here photos from the Eid Salah in the Mauritanian Desert. It is perhaps the closest image one can get of the Salah of the Prophet (SAW)'s time.

You will notice the women sitting behind the men.

Also, photos from Indonesia (country with largest Muslim population).

Muslims of the Cape come from Indonesia generally and follow the Shafi'i Madh-hab.

As a photo says a thousand words, attached are also photos of mass female Eid congregations from:

Egypt, Kashmir, Senegal, Sudan, Somalia, Turkey, Iran, Philippines, UK, Gambia and INDIA.

Please look at them carefully so that we can expand our horizons!

We are part of a global Ummah. After that, as South Africans, we are part of Africa.

The question for our local Fuqaha is:

As 21st century South African Muslims, will we continue to advocate this "suspension of the Sunnah" that we inherited from our Indian Hanafi roots? or are we going to suspend that "suspension" itself and go back to the Sunnah as the more suitable option for our multi-cultural global/African context???

Do note that going against the Hanafi Madh-hab in one issue does not remove one from the Madh-hab as is well-known to anyone who has studied Fiqh and Usul al-Fiqh.

Note also that Imam Abu-Hanifah (RA) himself stated:

"If the hadith is authentic, then that is my Madh-hab".

Hanafi Ulama stated that this important statement of the Imam means:

'If an opinion of Imam Abu-Hanifah - that was based on analogy or contextual considerations (and not a hadith) - seems to contradict an authentic hadith, then one should leave that opinion and follow the hadith. One will still remain a Hanafi'.

See the Radd al-Muhtar of al-Allamah Ibn-Abidin al-Shami.

The "suspension" of the Eid Prayer for Women is an opinion based on contextual considerations, and not textual evidence. Therefore, if a Hanafi scholar goes against that opinion in order to follow the established Hadith, he remains a Hanafi, as the Imam al-A'zam himself confirmed!

 

Qiyam Lillah

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Al Hamdu Lillaahi Rabbil 'Aalameen was Salaatu was Salaamu 'alaa Ashrafil Anbiyaa'e wal Mursaleen

"Blessed is He Who sent down the Criterion to His servant, that it may be an admonition to all creatures. [Surah Al Furqan verse 1].

Wa Ba'd:

Alal Muslimeena Jami'ah! There are many beautiful verses spread throughout the Most Holy and Noble Qur'an that invites a true Mu'min to read them repeatedly, to reflect and ponder upon them, and to put them into daily practice. If we try to put the gist of life into a single phrase, that phrase is "Qiyam Lillah" - standing up for the sake of Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala Most Exalted and Merciful. "Qiyam Lillah" is not just an act; it is a decision to ordain one's life according to divine values and to dedicate it totally and completely to Almighty Allah Rabbul Ala'meen. It is a way of life. It is the resolution to live a life of courage and commitment, the resolution to live and die for a divine cause and to face all the trials, the tribulations, the dangers, the anxieties and the personal losses and setbacks that one may encounter on the path of faith and commitment. Almighty Allah Tabaraqa Wata'ala reminds us in verse 139 of Surah Al-Imran:

"So lose not heart, nor fall into despair, for ye must gain mastery if you are true in Faith."

O you who believe! Conviction in this Divine promise is the real prize of a truthful believer. Almighty Allah Most Exalted has bestowed upon us the greatest favour and blessing, that is Islam. He alone is our Helper and Protector. The aim of man's existence, in the sight of Almighty Allah Azza Wajjal, is total submission, that is, to attain a true awareness of our Most Merciful Creator and Maker, to conduct our life in conformity with His Commands and to seek Him by following the path laid down by His Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam. These then are the first glimpses of a true Muh'min who has resolved to live a life of Qiyam Lillah and who invites others to do the same. This dictum is the only way to the betterment of both worlds.

Ibad Allah! This refers to a state where Truth is triumphant and no battles are waged for the souls of men and they do not have to undergo the ordeal of deciding which way to turn; where only Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala is obeyed and Divine honours are paid to Him Alone; where justice and faith in Allah prevail. It was Qiyam for the sake of Almighty Allah that made Nabee Ebrahim Alayhis Salaam, the friend [Khalil] of the Beneficent, attain to the station of sincere friendship [Khullah] of Almighty Allah and liberated him from the multiple manifestations of the world of corporeal nature. Islam is the faith that defines us, defines who we are, defines our identity. Islam is the religion that Almighty Allah Most Merciful has chosen for us, has perfected for us, and has granted us, as the Qur'an so eloquently expresses in part of verse 3 of Surah Al Maidah:

"This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed my favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion."

But why is it that we believe that Islam is such a tremendous bounty from Almighty Allah?  Because there is nothing like Islam on earth: It is Islam that has taught human beings that the Lord their Creator is the One and Only.  That He has no partners, no wife, and no son, and that there can be no compromise on His Oneness. It is Islam that has taught human beings that they are all equal and that no Arab is superior to a non-Arab, nor a non-Arab is superior to an Arab, and that the best of all of us is the one who is the most righteous. Islam is a favour, Islam is a privilege, Islam is a great bounty from Almighty Allah Most Exalted and Merciful. All we have to do is to be grateful for this great blessing and say as we are commanded in verse 43 of Surah Al-A'raf:

"Praise be to Allah who has guided us to this:  never could we

have found guidance, had it not been for the guidance of Allah"


Beloved people of Imaan! Today is the day when the Divine spiritual breeze has begun to blow. Today, is the best day for making Qiyam for the sake of reform [Islah]. If we let this golden opportunity slip and if we fail to stand for the sake of our Most Exalted Creator and Maker and revive the rites of our Din, tomorrow will be a day when we will be overwhelmed by a hoard of lustful blasphemers who will make our religion and dignity the victim of their venomous and vicious aims. Today what excuse do we have to offer before Almighty Allah Rabbul Ala'meen? We have all seen how the avowed enemies of Islam continue to perpetrate their hatred for Islam, for our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam and for the Muslim Ummah.

O Ummatul Muslimeen! It is our self-seeking character and our abandoning of Qiyam for Almighty Allah's sake that has made us see these dark days, allowing all the world's people to dominate us and subjecting the Islamic countries to the Jahilliyah influence of foreigners. It is our Qiyam for the sake of selfish personal interests that has strangled the spirit of solidarity and true brotherhood within the Ummah. It is Qiyam for the carnal self that has scattered us and separated us from one another. It is Qiyam for personal benefit that allows despotic rulers to rule over Muslim countries. It is Qiyam for the fear of Islam that Western countries have snatched away the Hijab from chaste Muslim women. It is Qiyam for the sake of hatred and greed that has made the media moguls and their mouthpieces  defame Islam and the Beloved of Almighty Allah Azza Wajjal.

Fa ya Ayyuhan nas! We observe that the precious fruits of action according to religious precepts are not fully realized in this world. Neither do those who do good arrive at their reward, nor those who blaspheme and spread corruption, Fithnah, and oppression realize the requital for their evil actions. It is Qiyam for the sake of carrying out acts  beneficial to ourselves and our community and to avoid acts of corruption. These are the provisions and commandments that Islam has brought and to which it has summoned; as we see, some of them pertain to belief, some to ethics, and some to action. It is Qiyam to accept them and to put them into action. This is the means to happiness, because, as we know, a Muh'min cannot find happiness without being a realist, adopting high ethical standards in life, and acting in accordance with them.

Ummatal Qur'an! It is Qiyam for the sake of making every individual in a society responsible for determining what is Halal and Haram and what is harmful in accordance with laws of human design, and in such a case human laws would have supplanted Divine Laws and there would be no further need for religion. If we consider closely, however, we see that the decrees and provision of Islam does not only address worship of Almighty Allah Most Merciful but has also provided commands and provisions covering all aspects of individual and social life.

It has surveyed the full extent of human life in a marvelous way and has set forth appropriate provisions for every individual and social activity. Finally, it has secured the happiness of the individual in human society from every standpoint, to the greatest possible degree, as any fair-minded person will affirm. As has been explained, Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala explains Islam in verse 19 of Surah Al-Imran in accordance with the limited compass of human understanding:

"Truly, religion before Allah is Surrender (Islam), and those who received the Book did not differ until after knowledge reached them, through transgression

among themselves, and as to whosoever disbelieves in Almighty Allah's Signs, - Allah is swift in reckoning."

O you who believe! Summon the people to Allah's Way by explaining what is true and sound and what is corrupt, with good advice and counsel, and by demonstrating the Truth in the best possible manner, because Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala knows best who has found the way and who is lost. Of course, one must know that human happiness and individual and social prosperity are based upon practice of religious commandments. Apart from that, merely nominal attachment to religion is useless, since what has value is the Truth itself, not summons to the Truth. One who calls himself or herself a Muslim and who, for all his or her inner darkness, base morals, and ugly behaviour, awaits the angel of happiness, is just like a patient who pockets the doctor's prescription and expects to get well. Certainly no one will get anywhere that way.

O seekers of Allah who are committed to the Truth! O you who believe! Read the admonition of the Most Glorious Creator of the heavens and the earth. Accept the sole remedy of reform suggested by Him. Abandon personal and selfish interests, that you may Insha'Allah attain to felicity in this world and in the Aghirah. Verily, there are times in your life wherein Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala sets gusts of spiritual opportunity going. Look out, and place yourself in its path and remember that whoever chooses Almighty Allah Rabbul Ala'meen as his or her Protector and Guardian will escape the darkness of bewilderment and misguidance. The aim and idea behind all our acts should be for the Pleasure and Favour of Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala and the service of Islam, the service of our Beloved Nabee - Rahmatul Liel Ala'meen Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam and the service of the Muslim Ummah.

And Almighty Allah knows best.

Imam Abdul Hameed

"Hold yourselves accountable before your accountability!"

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Allah Azza Wa Jalla says: [And do not speak of that which you have no knowledge. Verily, all your hearing, your sight and your heart, you will be responsible for all of that.]

We have persevere to attain the pleasure of Allah Azza Wa Jalla by always doing and speaking that which He is pleased with. He will account us for everything on the Day of Reckoning; and therefore, we should hold ourselves accountable before we are held accountable.

The Holy Circle

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In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful, Most Goodness

In 1934, K.M. Jeffreys, the editor of The Cape Naturalist, a local magazine, wrote an article in the magazine called The Malay Tombs of the Holy Circle. He wrote that there are a number of:
“old Malay tombs that make up the Holy Circle which stretches from Robben Island to the Kramat of Sheikh Joseph on the Macassar Downs...

 

Starting at the old cemetery on the slopes of Signal Hill, just above the quarry in Strand Street, where two saintly men were buried many years ago, the circle continues to two graves on the top of Signal Hill ... Hence it goes to a grave, much revered situated above Oude Kraal beyond Camps Bay, and sweeps around the mountain to a Kramat at Constantia, on the Tokai Road. From there (the circle continues to) the Kramat of Sheikh Joseph of Faure, on the farm Zandvliet. The circle is completed by an old tomb on Robben Island.”

It appears that the term Holy Circle was formulated by Jeffreys, and that the term did not have local Muslim origins. There are a number of graves of Awliya-Allah within the "circle" and also a number outside the "circle". In fact, it is very difficult to refer to the geographical arrangement of these graves as being circular in any sense of the term. What has, however, happened over the years is that the Holy Circle has been given certain very special spiritual and other qualities by members of the local Muslim community. It is said, for example, that no natural disasters occur within the “circle”. This is not true. During my own lifetime, I have experienced major storms, fires, an earthquake and a tornado that had occurred within the "circle". It is said that the "circle" protects the Cape Peninsula but nobody ever says from what. It cannot be from social disasters because the Cape Peninsula has experienced major social misfortunes over the years. Perhaps we should leave the myths and unfounded claims alone and come to the historical and spiritual significance of the large number of Awliya-Allah who lies buried in the Western Cape.

With the exception of the shrines and graves in the cemetery in Observatory and the Habibia complex in Athlone, all the others are to be found on the lower slopes of mountains, especially near to streams and isolated areas, and, in the case of one, on Robben Island. There are a number of reasons for this geographical distribution of the
graves of these saintly people, and I do not think that this arrangement has anything to do with a "circle":

(a)    The first was the banishment by the Dutch of political prisoners from its Asian colonies to isolated parts of the Cape Colony during its occupation of the Cape (1652-1795). In 1667, for example, the first political prisoners arrived at the Cape. Their fate is outlined on a plaque in one corner of the shrine of Tuan Mahmud in Constantia:    "On the 24 January 1667 the ship, Polsbroek, left Batavia and arrived here 13 May following with three political prisoners in chains; Malays from the west coast of Sumatra who were banished to the Cape until further orders, on the understanding that they would eventually be released. They were rulers, 'Orang Cayer', men of wealth and influence. Great care had to be taken that they were not left at large as they were likely to do injury to the Company. Two were sent to the Company's forests and one to Robben Island." The two who were sent to the Company's forests were Tuans Abdurahman and Mahmud. The other one, Tuan Matarin, was sent to the Island. It appears that all three held prominent positions in the Qadiriyyah Sufi Order.

The most well known political exile was Shaykh Yusuf. He arrived at the Cape in 1694 on the Voetboeg, and was banished to the farm Zandvliet at Faure where his shrine is to be found. Although Tuan Yusuf belonged to a number of orders, his spiritual practices came mainly from the Khalwatiyyah Order. The 7, 40 and 100 nights that are held after a person's death, come from this order, and are still practiced at the Cape today.

In 1774 Tuan Sayyid Alawi arrived. He had been sentenced to life-imprisonment. His shrine is in the Tana Baru. Tuan Sayyid, of course, was of the Alawiyyah Sufi Order, as his name indicates. Close to his shrine is that of another "criminal", Tuan Guru (Imam Abdullah ibn Qadi Abdus Salam) who belonged to the Shatiriyyah Sufi Order. Both tuans had spent long periods on the Island.

(b)    Then also the slaves were not allowed to bury their dead in the normal burial grounds. This, together with the fact that the first grants of land for cemeteries were only made in 1796 and 1805, compelled these people to bury their dead away from the urbanized areas on the isolated parts of the lower slopes of the mountains in their immediate vicinity.

(c)    In addition, the Public Health Act No 4 was passed in 1883 closing all cemeteries in the municipal area of Cape Town consequent to the smallpox epidemics, which broke out in 1858 and 1882. The Muslim community rejected the stipulation of this Act, and also refused to bury at Maitland. The result was the 1886 Cemetery Riot against the Act. Oral tradition has it that many burials then took place surreptitiously on the lower slopes of the immediate mountain ranges.

(d)    There was also the practice of members of sufi orders to go into “retreat” periodically in order to indulge in spiritual exercises in isolation. Thus both Shaykh Muhammad Hasan who is buried on Signal Hill and Shaykh Abdul Qadir who is buried in Deer Park have the words “al-Qadiri” inscribed after their names. This means that they were most probably shaykhs of the Qadiriyyah Sufi Order. On the mountainside of Oudekraal are the graves of Tuans Ja' far and Nurul Mubin, and on Signal Hill the grave of Tuan Hasan.

Almost without exception, these individuals have come down in our history as being Awliya of Allah (persons to whom Allah Almighty has granted friendship). Many of them, such as Tuans Yusuf and Guru, were scholars of Islam, and all of them, it appears, were in one or other sufi order. Possibly the main question that arises is:
What was the contribution to Islam at the Cape of the Awliya who lie buried all over the Western Cape and not only in the Cape Peninsula? To understand their contribution, one has to understand that the "hearts" of these individuals, here and in the rest of the world, are the major, if not the sole, "custodians" of the resources of the remembrance of Allah; and they safeguard such remembrance for distribution to the "hearts" of others. In this way Allah is remembered. And they strive in their approach to Him with acts of remembrance until He loves them, is satisfied with them, and remembers them. And it is through His remembrance of them, that they are remembered by others. In a Holy Tradition, the following words were spoken about such people by Allah to His Messenger (s.a.w.s.):

Truly My Awliya of my obedient servants, and those whom I love of My creation; they are remembered by My remembrance and I am remembered by their remembrance.
[Narrated by Al-Hakim and Abu Na’im on the authority of Amir ibn aI-Mamu'.]

It is perhaps this reason that caused Islam to survive at the Cape while it died at about the same time amongst the millions of Muslims that were shipped to the America during the Atlantic slave trade. These Awliya had made use of those teachings in Islam to transform personalities, and to develop spirituality to a level at which they fell into one of the categories mentioned in the tradition. Islam has within it a massive reservoir of religious energy in the form of a vast array of practices from
which one can draw for personal transformation. They came to teach, through the sufi orders they belonged to, means of accessing those practices, and use them as means of approach to Allah Subhanah. And so, because of their work at the level of "hearts", Islam survived. What were some of the more tangible contributions that they had made in this regard?

(a)    Many of these Awliya were involved in the establishment of religious structures at the Cape, and within these structures Muslims came together to conduct their religious and social affairs.  These structures include the organizational structures of the sufi orders within which Muslims placed themselves under the spiritual guidance of the Awliya in charge of these orders, and they also received basic teachings of Islam. These orders were important vehicles for the preservation of religious teachings and social cohesion. (Mawlana Abdul-Latif of the College, for example, established the Chisti Order in Athlone, which became an important social magnet for the people living in the immediate environment). In the same way the Awliya were instrumental in the establishment of house mosques (called langars) and madrassahs. Later special mosques and public madrassahs were built. The Awwal Mosque, for example, in Dorp Street and its madrassah were built under the guidance of Tuan Guru.

(b)    Some of the Awliya wrote the Qur'an from memory (such as Tuan Guru) and others started to provide the literature for educational purposes at the Cape. Again we have to mention Tuan Guru, Tuan Yusuf and Mawlana Abul-Latif of the College. The writings of many of these luminaries provided important educational tools for Islamic education.

(c)    By their personal conduct especially with regard to their religious behaviour, these Awliya provided important models for others to imitate, and so they exhibited in a smaller way the model set by Nabi Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) in Makkah and Madina. These Awliya have come down in our history as deeply religious individuals to whom God and God's Work came first. It is this attitude that encouraged other Muslims to attach themselves with greater degree to their religion.  Of course, the mureeds wanted to be like their shaykhs.

(d)    Within the religious space provided by the sufi orders and congregational religious services in mosques and madrassahs, the slaves, in a sense, had their
own individual personal privacy. The slave owners could not enter that space. The space was a religious one possessed by the slaves in his communion with God. And so in a sense when they participated in their dhikrs and prayers they were “free”. This “freedom” provided for these people a hope in God that they might not have had before. As a consequence, there must have developed in the community at this time a greater attachment to God through activities within their private religious spaces. Once outside this space, they were again under the hegemony of the slave owners.

The Awliyah at the Cape left us with a major heritage, an Islam operating within religious structures, which added immeasurably to the survival of the religion. It is doubtful whether Islam would have survived were these structures not in place. This is their great miracle. They were largely instrumental in the preservation of the religion. They need no other stories or myths. What they had done was of such major importance that today we can practice our religion, in a sense, freely. Perhaps now we can understand the Prophetic Tradition quoted earlier.

And Allah knows best!

Professor Yusuf Da Costa

Abandoning our parents

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 "Allahummah Bariek lana Fie Rajab Wa Sha'baan Wabaliegna Ramadan"

Wa Ba'd:

"And We have enjoined upon man kindness to his parents:

In pain did his mother bear him, and in pain did she

give birth to him."

[Surah Al Ahqaf Part of verse 15]

 

Ayyatuhal Muslimeen! The Most Holy and Noble Qur'an sums up the whole question in the master concept of Ihsan, which denotes what is right, good, upright, precious, benevolent, immaculate, and most beautiful. Accordingly, the Holy faith of Islam greatly encourages us to love, obey, and respect our parents, to the point that Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala commands kindness to parents immediately after making reference to Tawhid. We are informed of this Divine Command in verse 23 of Surah Al Isra (or Surah Bani Isra'il):

"Thy Lord hath decreed that you worship none but Him,

and that you be kind to parents. Whether one or both of

them attain old age in thy life, say not to them a word of

contempt, nor repel them, but address them with honour."

And in verse 24 of Surah Al Isra, the Divine Command continues...........

"And out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility,

and say: "My Lord! bestow on them Thy Mercy even as

they cherished me in Childhood."

Fa ya Ayyuhal Muslimoon! Our spiritual and moral obligations are brought into juxtaposition by Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala in verse 23. We are to worship none but Almighty Allah, because none but Allah is worthy of worship. "And out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility." The metaphor is that of a high-flying bird which lowers her wing out of tenderness to her offspring.

 

There is a double aptness. (1) When the parent was strong and the child was helpless, parental affection was showered on the child: when the child grows up and is strong, and the parent is old and helpless, can the child bestow similar tender care on the parents?  (2) But more: the child must approach the matter with gentle humility; for does not parental love remind him or her of the love with which Almighty Allah cherished His creatures?

Beloved People of Imaan! In the above two verses, there is something more than simple human gratitude: it goes up into the highest spiritual region. We are commanded to honour our mother and father, but upon much higher and more universal grounds, such as befit a perfect revelation. In the first place, not merely respect, but cherishing kindness, and humility to parents are commanded. In the second place this command is bracketed with the command to worship none but Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala. Parental love should be to us a type of divine love: nothing that we can do can ever really compensate for that which we have received.

Ya Ibad Allah! Our spiritual advancement as true people of Imaan is tested by this: we can never ever expect Almighty Allah's forgiveness if we are rude or unkind to those who unselfishly brought us up. The last integral part of Ihsan is that children are responsible for the support and maintenance of parents. It is an absolute religious duty to provide for the parents in case of need and help them to make their lives as comfortable as possible. In Islam, the worship of Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala is linked up with love and kindness to our parents.

The point that must be emphasized here is that while both parents are given importance, the mother ranks ahead of the father in Islam as far as their children are concerned. Our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam said: "Jannah lies under the feet of thy mother."However, father's are never ignored because "the contentment of the father is the door to Jannah." And in verse 32 of Surah Maryam we are reminded how Nabee Esa Alayhis Salaam honoured his mother when he said:

"And Allah hath made me kind and dutiful to my

mother, and not overbearing, wicked or miserable."

One of the Ten Commandments as we learn from Exodus 20:12 King James Version (KJV) is: "Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee." We are taught in Islam: within the family, the mother and father stand to the children in relation of a tree's roots to its branches: just as the propagation and life of the branches depend on the roots, so are the mother and father the foundation of a child's life. The human society is composed of two strata, the parents and the offspring, the mother and father are the taproot of society.

 

Beloved People of Imaan! We have all heard of child abuse and how children are damaged by this terrible behaviour and you only have to Google "Child Abuse" to find page after page of information, support groups and advice on this subject, but, how many people have heard of parent abuse? Especially at the hands of teenage children with serious social interaction, drug, abusive, and violence issues? Google it. You wont find much, except on a few support sites. Its a growing problem for parents who share their home with abusive young people and there is virtually no support. When I was growing up, it was an unspoken rule that you never talked back to your parents. My brothers and sisters knew this, and violated it at our peril.

We were taught to address every elder with love and respect. We were also used to seeing large families -- consisting of parents, children, grandparents and sometimes even uncles and aunts -- living together under one roof. These displays of filial piety -- heavily emphasized in Muslim society -- taught me some important lessons in life about benevolence and righteousness. Of late, however, I have begun to wonder whether our community has forgotten the values of respecting and revering their elders. These decreasing values are most glaringly obvious when you look at the number of elderly folk being abandoned in old-age or old folks homes.

These stories shock us. But in a way they also insulate us from the real problem which is far more ubiquitous. It has become a norm to brush older people aside in ways we don’t even realize. A survey from the Agewell Foundation found that 87 percent of elders in the 70-80 age group complain of isolation. And that happens even when they are living with family, at home. They just find themselves shunted off to the back bedroom. Where are their children? Is it not expected that the children should set aside some of their income to pay for their parents' healthcare or take these old folk into their homes?

To my dismay, this does not seem to be the case. There appears to have been a shift in the values and mindset of today, resulting in an emphasis on individualism and autonomy. Many young adults now are unwilling to sacrifice their personal desires (for example, career goals, financial gains and material luxuries) for the greater good of the family and community. Those with families of their own focus their energies and finances almost exclusively on the upbringing and education of their children, forgetting that they are neglecting the most crucial part of the children's education: teaching moral values by example.

Indeed, have our values changed so much that we need a law to compel us to take care of our own parents? It is clear that our Muslim society has reached a turning point where we need to reflect on which path we want to take. There is an unwritten code of humanity that says we should give our children better than we ourselves received. However, I was also brought up with the code that we should do everything within our power to give our parents better than we ourselves received. What does it say about us that we throw our parents away like a pair of old shoes?

Ask any 7, 8, 9, or 10 year-old who lost their parents at such young tender ages and who were raised without the love of a mother and father - ask them what they would have sacrificed in life to have experienced growing up surrounded by parental love. Love for our parents lights up the horizons of life. Parental love plays a deep and a vast role in our material and spiritual developments for it holds magnificent and astonishing power. If we extinguish the light of love for our parents from the horizon of life, the darkness of disappointment and the horror of unhappiness will overshadow our spirits.

I am addressing all those who are guilty of neglecting and abandoning their elderly parents. Doing so is heinous crime which will not be forgiven by Almighty Allah. Love for our mother and father is a true manifestation of human affections. Yes, love is transferable and applies to everyone. The method with which we are able to gain parental love is by being generous, and lovingly kind to them, and by realizing that our responsibility towards them is to grant them love and affection.

The structure of family life is very lofty, sound and comprehensive. Among the substantial elements of this structure are sincere love for one's fellow human beings, mercy for the young, respect for the elders, comfort and consolation for the distressed, visiting the sick, relieving the grieved, genuine feelings of brotherhood and social solidarity; respect for the rights of other people to life, property, and honour; mutual responsibility between the individual and society. It is a common thing to come across Prophetic statements like:

"Whoever relieves a human being from a grief of this world, Almighty Allah Most Merciful will relieve him from grief on the Day of Judgement."

And: "Anyone who has no mercy on the young and respect for the elderly is not one of us."

There are many days set aside in societies to honor and appreciate parents; Father's Day and Mother's Day to name just two. Such days appear to be more of an effort to make up for duties neglected. Those who can value their parents in the correct way and who regard them as a means for obtaining the mercy of Almighty Allah Tabaraqa Wata'ala are the most prosperous in both worlds. In contrast, those who regard their parents' existence as a burden on themselves are unfortunate people who will inevitably suffer the severest hardships in this life and in the Aghirah.

It is our foremost duty as Muslims to honour, love, obey, and respect our parents to the extend that we celebrate our mothers' and fathers' EVERYDAY of the year. Families form the foundation of a society. Where there is reciprocal respect of rights and obligations within a family, the society will be healthy and strong. It is vain to look for compassion and respect in society once these have been lost.

Dearest brothers and sisters in Islam! Please allow me to draw a realistic picture of the situation which is confronting the Muslim Ummah all over the world. It is to warn parents and children alike of the dangers that we are faced with today and of the losses that must be prevented. Moreover, it is to remind all those who are genuinely interested in the spiritual well-being of the Ummah that we must be alert and take a fresh attitude toward our love and obligations when it concerns our parents.  It is to warn children of the dangers that are approaching and of the great losses that must be prevented.

 

The Wisdom and Plan of Allah are beyond all Praise:

And Mercy and Truth proceed from Him, and there

is no other - none - besides Him. And Allah knows best.

by Imam Abdul Hamid

 

The Hijrah

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Al-Hamdu Lillaahi Rabbil 'Aalameen was Salaatu was Salaamu 'alaa Ashrafil Anbiyaa'e wal Mursaleen.

Wa Ba'd:

Ma'a Sheral Muslimeen! Alhumdoelillah!  We will soon be entering the new Hijri year. As we all know, Muharram is the first month of the Muslim calendar. In fact, the Hijrah which is associated in our mind with the month of Muharram neither took place in Muharram nor did it take place at the beginning of Islam. It happened thirteen years after the beginning of Islam. This raises the question in our minds as to why the Muslims took the Hijrah  to be the starting point of dating the beginning of Islamic history. Why did we not do as others did, by taking the birthday of their prophet or founder as the beginning of their calendar?

Ummatal Islam! During the Khilafah of Sayyiddina Umar bin al-Khattab the Sahaba Ridwanullahi Ta'ala Alayhim Ajma'een agreed to start the Islamic calendar from when the Nabee Sallalahoo Alayhi Wasallam made Hijrah to Madinah al-Munawwarra and established the first Islamic State. As we enter the blessed month of Muharram and the year 1432 we should remind ourselves of the Hijrah and dispel some of the misconceptions surrounding it. Very often when the Hijrah is discussed, we tend to limit ourselves to the details describing how the Nabee Sallalahoo Alayhi Wasallam hid in a cave or who slept in his bed. This process inevitably diverts us from discussing the true substance of the event.

An account of such events should serve only to remind us that the Nabee while relying on the revelation as the source of the Islamic Message, had to carry the Islamic Da'wah as a human being, and through the means accessible to a human being. Why did we not take the very first revelation received by our Beloved Nabee as the beginning of our calendar? We all know, that when the Muslims got together 15 or 17 years after the Hijrah  to decide on the starting point of our history, they were guided in their decision to mark the event of the emigration as the beginning of our history.

The Hijrah to Madinah did not take place because the Muslims in Makkah wanted to avoid the persecution there, or because they wanted to find a safe haven for themselves, or to run away from the hardships they faced in that city. Rather, it was an event that took history in a new direction, and this can only be seen if we look at the Seerah in the correct manner.

Ummatal Islam! The Seerah of the Nabee صلى الله عليه وسلم is an integral part of the Sunnah, and is just as much a part of the revelation as is the Holy Qur'an. After a careful study of it,

we can extract a very specific method for carrying out the Da'wah, and if our aim is to please Almighty Allah سبحانه وتعالى, then it is our obligation to adhere to this method step by step, through each and every phase. Not because it was a difficult trip between Makkah and Madinah - especially in those days it was an extremely difficult journey. Three hundred miles between Makkah and Madinah in the heat of Arabia, on the back of a camel and on foot, in

the month of June was very arduous indeed. It was not decided upon because it was a difficult journey.

Ih'watal Imaan! The Hijrah  was undertaken because it embodied many of the principles of Islam and of Muslim values. We know of the great suffering and persecution of the Muslims - and through the intense hatred of the Quraish towards them, the plot was hatched to murder our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam. According to the Seerah, the Hijrah marks the transition from the phase in the Da'wah known as "Seeking the Nusrah" to the phase where Islam is implemented in the form of a state. The Nusrah is the transfer of authority to a person via the material support or allegiance from the powerful elements of a society.

The Hijrah is a direct result of seeking, and subsequently receiving, the Nusrah. When Mus'ab ibn Umair (R.A.) was sent to Madinah to spread the Message of Islam, it took him one year of tireless work in that city before its leaders journeyed to Makkah to transfer their authority to the Nabee صلى الله عليه وسلم by giving him the Ba'yah. This Ba'yah was called Bayat-ul Harb (Allegiance of War). Although there was no war, it was called Bayat-ul Harb because it indicated the willingness of the Muslims to fight, when necessary, to protect the Da'wah and the newly established Islamic State. The Nabee صلى الله عليه وسلم had invested four years of Da'wah, towards most of the tribes in Najd (the large area between Makkah and Madinah) before he received the Nusrah.

Ya Ummatal Qur'an! It is important to note that until this time in the Seerah, even with all the pressure the Nabee  صلى الله عليه وسلم placed upon the Kufr society of Makkah, all the persecution that the Quraysh inflicted on the Nabee صلى الله عليه وسلم and the Muslims was comparatively trivial to the persecution that came after the Nabee صلى الله عليه وسلم received the Nusrah from the leaders of Madinah. From this point onward it was the plot of the Kuffar to assassinate the Nabee صلى الله عليه وسلم. Indeed, it is true that Shaitan and his followers are most afraid of the implementation of Almighty Allah's rules Keeping these elements in mind, whenever we discuss the Hijrah, which many people will try to reduce to a spiritual journey the Nabee صلى الله عليه وسلم took over some terrain, we should discuss the overall ideological significance of this event in terms of Islam and the Da'wah mission.

It is critical for Muslims to realize that this event not only marks the beginning of our calendar, but more importantly it commemorates the establishment of the nucleus of the first Islamic state. For hundreds of years to come this nucleus would engulf neighboring lands, subsequently liberating one oppressed people after another and bringing them the Mercy from Almighty Allah سبحانه وتعالى called Islam. If we want to talk about the essential nature of the Hijrah, we have to realize that it marks the time when Islam as an Ideology was transformed from idea to practice.

Faya Ayyuhan Nas! Hitherto, the people of Madinah accepted the Nabee  صلى الله عليه وسلم only as a Prophet. However, after the transfer of power (Nusrah), when the Nabee صلى الله عليه وسلم arrived in Madinah, they received him  as a ruler and a Prophet. Before the Nabee صلى الله عليه وسلم made the Hijrah, he was a Prophet with the new laws revealed to him  by Allah سبحانه وتعالى. After the Hijrah, he was the one who implemented this law. Islam had gone from addressing and pointing out the problems and issues to tackling the problems and issues and providing solutions for them. It was at this point that the Nabee صلى الله عليه وسلم was able to apply the rules and systems of Islam into real life.

 

The Hijrah, a part of the Seerah, is something that must be studied in depth to gain a full understanding of its implications and meaning. It is not simply a series of bedtime stories to be told and remembered like fairy tales of how the Nabee صلى الله عليه وسلم took Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A.) with him and went on a journey, and at the end of it the people received them. According to the plan chalked out by the Quraish in a general meeting of their leaders in the “Dar-al-Nadwah”  (the Council Chamber), it was agreed upon that  the chiefs of all the prominent tribes had to participate jointly in the murder of our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam so that the tribe of Banu Hashim  would not be able to oppose or confront  all of  them together.

Ma'a Sheral Muslimeen! The perpetrators of this evil plot included some of the arch- enemies

of Islam and they consisted of Zam’ah bin Awad bin Mutallib; Hakim bin Hizam; Abu Jahl; Nubaih; Munabbih; Umayya bin Khalaf; Utbah; and Abu-al-Bakhtari. The very thought that our Beloved Nabee صلى الله عليه وسلم may migrate made them desperate and the time had now come for them to act on their henious intention with the sole purpose of eradicating the new religion of Islam and killing the Beloved Nabee صلى الله عليه وسلم. They sat their plan in  motion but Allmighty Allah Subahanahoo Wata’ala is indeed the best of planners for it was  through Divine Providence that  our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam was

informed about the plot when verse 30 of Surah Al-Anfal   was revealed to him.

“And when those who disbelieve plot against thee (O Muhammad) to wound you fatally, or to kill you, or to drive thee forth; they plan but Allah (also) plans and Allah is the best of planners.”

Ih'watal Aqida! The plots against our Beloved Nabee صلى الله عليه وسلم in Makkah aimed at three things. They were not only foiled, but Almighty Allah سبحانه وتعالى wonderful working turned the tables, and brought good out of evil in each case. These  enemies of Allah tried to hold our Nabee صلى الله عليه وسلم in subjection in Makkah by putting pressure on his uncles,relatives and friends. But the more they persecuted, the more the little Muslim community grew in faith and numbers.

They plotted and planned to injure or kill our Beloved Nabee صلى الله عليه وسلم  but the wonderful example of his kindness,  humility, perseverance, and fearlessness furthered the cause of Islam. They tried to get him and his small band of followers out of their homes but Alhumdoelillah,  they found a new home in Madinah from which they eventually reconquered not only Makkah but the whole of Arabia and the world. Since our Nabee   صلى الله عليه وسلم was now fully aware of the plot against his life, he was commanded to migrate as we learn from verse 41 of Surah An-Nahl:

“To those who leave their homes in the cause of Allah, after suffering oppression, - We will assuredly give a goodly home in this world; But truly the reward of the Hereafter will be greater. If they only realised (this).”

Ya Ayyuhal Gafieloon! We are all aware of the persecution that took place against the Muslims and that many of them left behind all their possessions and went secretly to Madinah. The time had now come for our Beloved Nabee    صلى الله عليه وسلم together with his closest companion Sayyidina Abubaker Radhiallaho Anho to embark on their Divinely ordained Hijrah. As  mentioned earlier, the Hijrah embodies the intrinsic principles of Islam. The principles which are essential for any nation to survive and for any message to flourish. By this I mean, the manifestation of complete commitment.

The manifestation of loyalty, a manifestation of Muhabbat a manifestation of truth and a preference for the public interest rather than self-interest. In actual fact all the Sahaba R.A. stand as shining examples for all these ideals for Allmighty Allah Subahanahoo Wata’ala speaks of them in verse 42 of Surah An-Nahl:

“(They are)  those who persevere in patience, and place their trust only  in Allah.”

Aina Izzatul Islam! They were motivated by the Pleasure of Almighty Allah    سبحانه وتعالى . They were zealous for the sake of Islam and for our Beloved Nabee    صلى الله عليه وسلم. Like I said, all of them stand out as shining examples, but I would like to highlight for our attention just two, Sayyidina Abubaker Radhiallahoo Anho and Sayyidina Ali Radhiallahoo Anho.There is a reason why I have chosen these two illustrious companions of our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam.

It is a well known fact that some sections of our community profess an affinity with Sayyidina Ali R.A;  and the other sections profess affinity with Sayyidina Abubaker R.A. Unfortunately both sections forget or misconstrue what these two men stood for. Sayyidina Ali R.A. when he was quite young knew that the enemies of Islam were standing outside our Nabee صلى الله عليه وسلم door ready to kill him. Yet he spent the night in the Nabee  bed, to give the Nabee صلى الله عليه وسلم a chance to leave undetected. He didn’t do this because he was his cousin, or  because he was the first young child to believe in the Nabee صلى الله عليه وسلم . It was not a matter of kinship.

O you who believe! After all the Abu Lahab was also a cousin of the Nabee صلى الله عليه وسلم and an avowed bitter enemy.It was not a question of family relationship, but one of conviction. Sayyidina Ali R.A. voluntarily agreed to subject his young life  to the great  danger which the ocassion demanded. As for Sayyidina Abubaker R.A; we know that the Holy Qura’n records the moment when he was with the Nabee صلى الله عليه وسلم in the cave of mount Thawr situated about three miles from Makkah. It is from this incident that he was also  known as the “Companion of the cave.” For three days and three nights they hid in the cave of mount Thawr while the Quraish combed every hill and valley in the area.

Ayyuhal Muslimoon! The frustrated and disappointed leaders of the Quraish proclaimed a reward of one hundred camels for their capture. It is said that no sooner had they entered the cave when once again through Divine Providence - a spider spinned a web at the mouth of the entrance and a turtle dove laid an egg in front of the cave where they were hiding. One of the search parties even reached the cave and on hearing their footsteps Sayyidina Abubaker R.A. was overwhelmed with anxiety because if the pursuers had but looked through the spiders web, at the entrance of the cave, they would have found them. Our Beloved Nabee    صلى الله عليه وسلم consoled him by reciting part of verse 40 of Surah At-Taubah:

“Have no fear for Allah is with us.”

Alhumdoelillah!  can any of us imagine the pride and the might of Makkah could be defeated by a web woven by a spider and an egg of a dove? It is Only Almighty Allah سبحانه وتعالى Who plans, Who gives victory, Who gives the aid, and  Who enlightens the people who place all their trust in Him and in Him Alone. My dear brothers and sisters, we must by now realise that the Hijrah was actually a concept before it was embarked upon. It was a manifestation of ideas and principles before it was a changing of the place of abode. In one of his statements the Nabee    صلى الله عليه وسلم advises all of us not to look superficially at the significant events of our history or of any action undertaken.

Alal Muslimeena Jami'a! We should not be content with the outward expression and forget about the substance and the spirit of what we do and why we do it. In one of the ahadith when he was asked to define who a Muslim is, it is reported that he said: “A Muslim is he who does not harm others, neither by his hand nor his tongue.” Unfortunately, with regard the Hijrah - we have forgotten even about the physical side of it. If we ask anybody what the Hijri date is today, very few of us will be able to give a correct answer. No Muslim country in the world pay their workers wages according to the Hijri year. No Muslim country in the world arrange their time-table of events or of anything else apart from the obvious religious festivals according to the Hijri year.

Faya Ayyuhan nas! Furthermore, every year - like clockwork, we have a quarrel about the beginning of Ramadhan, or the beginning of Hajj and so on and so forth. We live in a state of chaos. When will the Muslims of the world emerge from it. Only, and only, when we rise above those little things whether they are of national interest or factional or, should one say fictional understanding and interpretation, or personal promotion. May Almighty Allah    سبحانه وتعالى guide us all to the path trod by those who first paid allegiance to His Beloved Nabee    صلى الله عليه وسلم, and may He guide us to renew our allegiance to Islam.

And Almighty Allah knows best.

 

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